Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young Se agreed Thursday to work closely in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear threats, the government said.

During their talks in Tokyo, Hayashi and Kwon, who is the first South Korean unification minister to visit Japan since 2005, shared the view that the North's repeated missile tests are "serious and imminent threats" to regional security.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (far R) and South Korean Unification Minister Kwon Young Se (far L) hold talks at the foreign ministry in Tokyo on March 23, 2023. (Pool photo)(Kyodo) ==Kyodo

It is planned that Kwon, who is in charge of issues related to Pyongyang, will be in Japan for four days through Saturday. Ties between Tokyo and Seoul have improved since South Korea announced its solution to a bilateral wartime labor dispute earlier this month.

Hayashi also asked Kwon for his understanding and cooperation in the unresolved abduction issue of Japanese nationals by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. Kwon expressed his nation's support on the matter, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Kwon's trip to Japan came after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol held a summit in Tokyo last Thursday.

Yoon became the first South Korean president to visit Japan in four years.

In their meeting, which was partially open to media, Kwon congratulated Japan on winning its third World Baseball Classic title on Wednesday, telling Hayashi that he is "envious." South Korea failed to reach the tournament's quarterfinal stage.